Views from the Vicarage
This week I spent time in one of our nursing homes and had the honour of sitting with a gentleman who will never come to church and will not even remember I was there. Yet for the moments we shared I felt right at the heart of what we are called to be as church – family and friend to those others might forget.
As I sat with him – joy and sadness, pain and comfort held tightly together- I silently prayed and thanked God he was part of our parish. And as I left he said thank you, thank you. As I reached the door I promised to return, thank you he called again- and in the moment he really meant it – tears in his eyes.
But when I return he will probably not remember me and so we shall have to begin again, and it will be honour all over again too.
Ministry like this keeps you humble – it reminds me that not everything that counts can be counted or measured – and that each of us is an extraordinarily beautiful child of God able to be part of his Kingdom work, for this man blessed me – became a priest to the priest – and encouraged me in ways he can never know. I left deeply grateful for having been there.
This Christmas we shall be holding a Christmas day lunch for those who are elderly, lonely or vulnerable – it is our aim to provide food and friendship that really brings Christmas joy to our guests but in return I am sure we will be blessed too – just as I was in the nursing home. That is the nature of giving, you always receive more than you gave away.
If you would like to be part of this ministry please speak to Alison or myself and we would love to include you, either as a guest or as a helper. If you have plans for Christmas but would like to contribute to this ministry, we would welcome any financial donations and/or prayers for the day.
For me, as the nights draw in, it will be one of the dates in my diary I am most looking forward to.